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Audubon Society Seeks Citizen Scientists to Monitor Cape Perpetua Seabird Colonies

By Kiera Morgan - Oregoncoastdailynews.com
The Lincoln County Dispatch

The Audubon Society of Portland is starting a citizen science project to monitor seabird nesting colonies adjacent to the recently designated Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve.

Audubon Society Seeks Citizen Scientists to Monitor Cape Perpetua Seabird Colonies

The Audubon Society of Portland is recruiting volunteers to monitor cormorant and other seabird nesting colonies in the Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve area south of Yachats. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

The Audubon Society of Portland is starting a citizen science project to monitor seabird nesting colonies adjacent to the recently designated Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve.

Audubon is looking for volunteers to “adopt” a colony and monitor nests to determine hatching success of chicks.

Audubon Society's Joe Liebezeit says now is a critical time to monitor the Cape Perpetua reserve effectiveness for human benefit and for ecological health.

“Basically what the volunteers will be doing is monitoring cormorants and common murres at their nesting colonies at Heceta Head, Sea Lion Caves and near Cape Perpetua to look at nest productivity,” he said.

Seabirds main prey, forage fish species like sardines, sand lance, and smelt, are protected in the marine reserves.  Forage fish species are of conservation concern as they form the prey base for upper level predators including seabirds as well as larger fish of economic importance such as salmon and halibut as well as marine mammal species.

Forage fish are particularly important in providing vital nutrients for growing seabird chicks. By monitoring nesting seabird populations that use the marine reserve, Liebezeit said biologists can better understand the efficacy of marine reserves with respect to seabirds and the forage fish they depend on.

Volunteers will monitor the Cape Perpetua seabird nesting colonies twice a month through August, spending three to four hours per visit. For details contact Liebezeit at jliebezeit@audubonportland.org

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